I thought I would give you an update on where we are in the paper chase portion of the adoption. Our Home Study has been completed, approved, and notarized. This was a very important step in that once we had that we could apply for our I-800A – which is an application to bring a child to the U.S. on an immigrant visa. So, this was all sent in about a week ago. We should be receiving an appointment for fingerprinting in a week or two.
Once we are fingerprinted and run through the system, they will make a determination on our application. It will undoubtedly be approved, it is just a matter of how long this process takes. We were told two to three months, but I found out from another parent who just went through the process that it was only one month for them.
Once we have approval from Homeland Security on the visa, we can then send our documents – the dossier – to India. I just received the final piece of paper that we needed this weekend so my dossier is all complete – unless I find out that I did something incorrectly, that is!
Well, the dossier is not completely complete! Once we have our I-800 approval, we will officially receive a child referral. There are a few pieces of paperwork that deal specifically with the child we will be adopting – Levi Daniel Schneider! (aka Sangeet)
Along with the referral, we will owe the remaining money to the adoption agency. That doesn’t complete our financial responsibility for the adoption – there are other fees here and there and, of course, travel expenses! But, it will complete the amount we owe the adoption agency for their fee. We continue to trust in God’s provision.
I wanted to talk about our decision to rename our adopted children. We chose to give the girls a new first name, use their given name as a middle name, and then add a middle name with spiritual significance. It is appearing to be a bit cumbersome having two middle names. The girls do not want to use their Indian given names even as a middle name and get upset when someone does. I assume having two middle names won’t be a horrible burden, but since their Indian names are the first name listed that is the default initial that is used for them as a middle initial. They don’t like that. We felt like if all those names were legal – their Indian given names, and the two names we gave them – that they could choose what they want to use. And, that may change at different times in their life.
This confusion and – let’s face it, length! (Schneider is not a short last name) – helped us to come to the conclusion that we will rename Sangeet and not use his given Indian name as a middle name. We are not turning away from his Indian heritage and we will not let him forget the name that his mother gave him.
One thing I have noticed about the new first name is this: I think it makes the girls feel part of our family, chosen, and cherished by their new parents. Parents pick a name for their newborn and although they are coming into the family at an older age, it is the same thing. Mom and Dad are showing their love and excitement for this new arrival as they name him/her. There is also a demarcation between the past and the present/future. Not that every adopted child has bad memories to overcome, but that it gives them a line in the sand and represents a new start. I also hope that it gives them an identity with their new family.
The whole naming issue is a hard one. You can’t ask your child what they think when they come – they don’t have the language yet. You have to make the name decision within a few months of them coming when you finalize the adoption. You don’t want to start calling them one name and a few months later change to another one. We asked the orphanage director to talk to the girls about new names and find out if they were okay with it. I have no idea what she said to them, but I am pretty sure it wasn’t asking them if they were okay with a name change. I think she liked the names we chose for the girls and she TOLD them that these would be their new names. Who knows. You are at a major disadvantage in communication due to the language barrier when you are in country. 🙂
How we handled it then, was to call them Sarsa Kalindi and Vanila Kira for awhile and then once we got home we changed to Kalindi Sarsa and Kira Vanila and eventually dropped the middle name. That is just how we chose to deal with this issue. It is a personal decision and I am not saying that choosing one naming procedure over another is a better way. Everyone should do what they think is best for their child.
Pray for Levi as he waits – he has no idea that a family is working very hard to make him their son. Pray for his safety and health and that the Lord would prepare his heart to be part of our family.
Pray for us as we prepare for Levi to come home. Not just getting his room ready, but that our hearts and minds are being prepared as well.
Continue to pray for our paperwork. The Lord is in control and we ask for His perfect will and timing.
Please also continue to pray for God to provide the finances for this adoption. Levi does have a medical special need which means that we know he will need some surgery after he gets home. We have his medical records and will visit our pediatrician once we officially have our referral and seek her advice on a specialist. But, we won’t have any clear idea what is coming until he gets here and is evaluated. We are very fortunate to have health insurance, but the percentage they cover has diminished over the years and surgery is expensive. We, however, TRUST that God knows all this and will provide. We have seen Him do it already!
I can’t remember if we mentioned Levi’s medical special need before. (As an aside, this is why India is letting us adopt again. They have rules about adoption and already having two children from India is an automatic no, however, they will consider special needs to a broader range of families.) Levi’s special need is basically a birth defect that has resulted in an urological problem. It doesn’t appear to be very severe and he has already had some surgery to begin repair, but there is more surgery and treatment that is needed.
We know that God knit him together and knows exactly what Levi needs. It is so precious to look at your adopted child and know that – although you didn’t give birth to them – you are sure in the depths of your heart that they were meant to be your children and that God had this in His plan since before they were even conceived! Isn’t that amazing? I LOVE adoption! I LOVE our almighty, all-knowing, all-powerful, loving, gracious, merciful God who knows just what we need to cause us to grow in the image of Christ.
Blessings to you all! Lori